Change is an interesting thing. New ideas are often viewed with suspicion and distrust. Our reptilian brain generally asks three basic questions: Will it eat me? Can I eat it? Or can I mate with it? If the answer to all three is no, then the reptilian brain moves on.
Most people have, by now, seen solar panels atop buildings and windmills on ridge-tops along the highway, and most have, with a few exceptions, decided that the answer to question one is "no." That brings us to question two, which is where the investors come in. Any big change represents a big opportunity. Of course, the big-time professional investors have already made their moves and many of them have already made fortunes in this arena, but is it too late for the rest of us to get in on the action?
Here are a few different answers to that question with specific suggestions by a couple of the investment industry’s established pundits.
The Motley Fool came out this weekend with five stock recommendations in the sector. Each of these companies plays a different role in the mosaic that constitutes the sector today. All are large players.
NextEra Energy(NEE) is a clean energy company, headquartered in Florida, which owns Florida Power and Light, itself, one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the US with 4.7 million customers. They are the nation’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun with roughly 15% of the national total of each. They also own and operate eight nuclear power plants in four states. The company earned $15.1 in revenue on 42,500 MW of capacity in 2013. According to Motley Fool, over the past ten years, an investment in the company grew by 181.4%.
Renewable Energy Group (REGI) is the nation’s largest biofuels producer. In addition to biofuels including heating oil and biodiesel, they also make renewable chemicals. The company has production capacity for 330 million gallons of biodiesel annually, 75 million of which was just added. The stock has dropped significantly since its highs of a year ago, suggesting it could be a good time to get in.
Sunpower (SPWR) is a leader in the manufacture of residential, commercial and utility-scale solar panels. Their Mexen® panels (according to Photon Module Survey) hold the world’s record for efficiency. The company has modules for sale or lease under Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). The stock has now rebounded from a dip that affected the entire industry last year, and is now trading 11.5% above their price 5 years ago.